CSULA AAAS | Student Achievements

Tony Tang Graduated From Leadership In Action Summer Intern Program

Tony was selected as one of the seven summer interns at LEAP (Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics) and worked at the East San Gabriel Japanese Community Center on an oral history project. He graduated with flying colors! Congratulations!

Tony Tang




AAAS Student Gladys Garcia Won Prestigious Scholarship

Gladys Garcia

A round of applause to Gladys Garcia! She received the Morales Family Endowment scholarship. Such a wonderful accomplishment!


AAAS Students at the PBI Asian American Poll Press

Kat Alvarado, Elise Dang, Minh Dao, and Stephanie Wong were invited to attend the PBI Asian American Poll Press and Community Event (6/29/2016). Their comments and participation received high praise from the community and the press. [PBI Asian American Poll Press and Community Event Photos


AAAS Students in A Voice of America Story

Elise Dang and Kat CAlvarado are prominently featured in the Voice of America's report on the PBI Asian American Poll Press. [Voice of America Report]


Tony Tang Was Selected as A Summer Intern at LEAP (Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics)

Tony will work at the San Gabriel Japanese Community Center on "Keeper of the Flame," an oral history project dedicated to recording and preserving stories of the Pre-World War II Japanese American pioneers.


Alhambra High School Vegetable Garden Opening Ceremony (4/12/2016)

Led by Professor Juily Phun, AAAS/Hist 150 students transformed an unused space to a thriving garden for Alhambra High School. The story appeared in The World Journal

Alhambra High School Thriving Garden


Alhambra High School Thriving Garden


Alhambra High School Thriving Garden


Alhambra High School Thriving Garden


Alhambra High School Thriving Garden


Alhambra High School Thriving Garden



Eleven Students Awarded High Impact Community Engagement Project Grant

Congratulations to AAAS majors, Anna Katrina Alvarado, Celeste Cruz, Kevin Cuellar, Minh-Triet Dao, Gladys Garcia, Michelle Moua, Christine Nwachuku, Ingrid Perez-Quinones, Tony Tang, Stephanie Wong, and Osvaldo Zarate, who received the Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good’s High Impact Community Engagement Project Grant.


First Year AAAS Student Tony Tang MCs the President's Reception for Chinese Americans (5/28/2015)


President's Reception for Chinese Americans


President's Reception for Chinese Americans

[World Journal media report on this event]


A Successful Opening Day of Ties that Bind (5/28/2015)

The exhibit was curated by AAAS students Alexander Marroquin, Marina Molina, and Brianda Renteria, and TVF student Timmy Truong.


Three AAAS Students to receive Funding for Undergraduate Service Learning and Community Engagement Project (Spring 2015)

Alexander Marroquin, Marina Molina, and Brianda Renteria have been awarded $750 each for their project on Chinese American family history exhibit!


Four AAAS Students Made the Dean's List

A heartfelt congratulations to Ingrid Perez-Quinones, Meagan Ortiz, Alexander Marroquin, and Marina Molina. They have made this year's Dean's List!

Ingrid Ingrid Perez-Quinones


Alex MarroquinAlexander Marroquin


Meagan Meagan Ortiz


MarinaMarina Molina


Meagan Ortiz Speaks at Civic Leadership Speaking Series Featuring State Controller John Chiang

AAAS Senior Meagan Ortiz gave a passionate presentation about student leadership and community engagement at the Civic Leadership Speaking Series on April 10, 2014. The keynote speaker of this inaugural event was California State Controller John Chiang. Ortiz recounted her participation in the AAAS team research project on the ROOTS CSA program, which made her realize how community based learning can be an very effective way to inspire students to take action as informed leaders. "From my research, I have grown to put community-based learning in a high regard, and have learned that every step towards a better understanding of one's financial responsibility to themselves and to their community is an important one." She said.


AAAS Students Joined the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi

Congratulations to Marina Molina and Brianda Rentena whose academic excellence earned them an invitation to membership of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation's oldest and most selective all-discipline honor society!

Marina (left) and Brianda (right) at the 2014 Phi Kappa Phi Cal State LA chapter initiation ceremony (April 6, 2014), with President William Covino and NSS Dean Dr. Scott Bowman


AAAS Students Featured in Cal State LA Website

The Cal State LA Public Affairs Office recently spotlighted the successes of two AAAS students, Jazmine Jones and Angie Pak. The report about Jazmine notes that she was one of two Cal State L.A. students selected by Professor Ping Yao for an apprenticeship to evaluate “Culturally Relevant Produce and Community Supported Agriculture for Asian Americans.” The research aims to bring more awareness of local farmer markets to the communities in order to support the urban growers of fruits and vegetables. The report about Angie tells that she is involved with the Veterans Student Organization, helping to distribute food to homeless shelters in the local community. Angie plans to become a member of Salute, a national veterans honors society. Angie's dream is to travel to different places around the world, and work for a federal government agency or possibly establish a non-profit to support Asian American females in combat!


AAAS Students Netted Ten Awards

Heartfelt congratulations to Kevin Cuellar, Dora Jessica Dang, Kahlieh Dillard, Justin Janes, Jazmine Jones, Marina Molina, Meagan Ortiz, and Angie Pak who received grants and fellowships this year.


Undergraduate Research Grant (Project: Culturally Relevant Produce and Community Supported Agriculture for Asian America) and Center for the Study of Gender and Sexualities Student Research Stipend ( Project: Women in Hentai: The Female Body as a Site for Gender Redefinition in Japanese Society)



Undergraduate Research Grant (Project: Filial Piety in Korean Society: Importance in Recognizing the Imbalanced Gender Roles) and The Pacific Century Institute Project Bridge Fellow



Kevin Cuellar                     Dora Jessica Dang     Christine Kahlieh Dillard
Undergraduate Research Grants




Justin Janes                                 Jazmine Jones and Marina Molina
Undergraduate Research Grant          CETL Faculty Development Mentees


AAAS Alumni Kyle Tsukahira Featured in KPCC and KCET

Both KPCCand KCET featured AAAS alumni Kyle Tsukahira and his Roots Community Supported Agriculture (Roots CSA) project in their programs on Jan 29th, 2014. Kyle, a project specialist at the Asian and Pacific Islander Obesity Prevention Alliance (APIOPA), has worked on bringing affordable, fresh Asian produce to Asian communities around southern California while at the same time, supporting Asian-American farmers. He is also training six AAAS students to work on the program.


Students More Motivated after the Coffee Social (10/17/13)

Professor Juily Phun encourages students to participate in civic engagement activities


AAAS alumni Kyle Tsukahira discusses his current work at the Asian and Pacific Islander Obesity Prevention Alliance (APIOPA)


AAAS Students in the Spotlight!

Five AAAS450B students successfully completed Center for the Pacific Asian Family's Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Training and are on their way to be formally certified by the state of California to work as survivor advocates. Read the news report about their experience!



Congratulations to Helen Quang (Fall 12), Jessica Harpster (Spring 13) and Tina Van (Spring 13) who successfully completed their BA degree! Tina is now a graduate student at Cal State Fullerton!

Congratulations to Yvonne Merica, Helen Quang, and Kyle Tsukahira who successfully completed the AAAS Program and graduated in Spring 2012! Here is Kyle's reflection on our program and his experience at CSULA:

Kyle Tsukahira My name is Kyle Tsukahira and I am a recent graduate of California State University, Los Angeles’s Asian and Asian American Studies Program (AAAS).   I am currently working at Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP) on a part-time basis as well as interning at another non-profit organization, the Asian and Pacific Islander Obesity Prevention Alliance (APIOPA).  Over the summer I had the opportunity to participate in LEAP’s “Leadership in Action” internship program.  This internship was particularly exciting for me because I am interested in pursuing a career in the non-profit sector. LEAP gave me the unique opportunity to: (1) see what working with an Non-Profit Organization entails, (2) apply the knowledge I've gained in school to fight for social justice, and (3) become a stronger leader in the APIA community.

Having just finished my B.A. in Asian and Asian American studies it was so important for me to be able to tie what I’ve been learning over these past few years to the real life experiences and people in the community.  For example, classes like AAAS 415 are extremely vital because it not only teaches students about Asian American communities in Southern California it gives people the tools and knowledge necessary to work with and engage these extremely diverse and multicultural communities.  I never really thought about the significance about growing up not only in Southern California but more specifically the San Gabriel Valley, which over the years has become a predominately Asian area.   Seeing how this area has in so many ways become a pioneer of Asian American culture by drawing on the diverse people, cultures, and experiences of the community is extremely exciting.  For me, growing up in the SGV inspired me to want to learn more about not only myself and my community, but also about the Asian and Asian American diaporas around the world.  I am so glad I decided to major in CSULA’s AAAS program precisely because it was exactly what I was looking for. 

I feel ethnic studies in general is extremely important because it teaches tolerance, respect, and most importantly includes the stories of people who are not in the high school texts books.  It’s hard to explain but I felt a strong sense of pride and power learning about people who looked like me doing amazing things.  I realized that just because Asians and Asian Americans were excluded from my entire my education up to that point did not mean they somehow didn’t exist or were not equally important to this country.  That is why programs like AAAS are so important because it teaches people about the histories, experiences, and struggles of Asians and Asian Americans, in addition to other minority groups.  This program also serves to inspire new generations of Asian American activists, politicians, and global citizens to stand up for their communities in order to ensure our stories and voices are heard and included.
In addition, what makes this program so exciting is the fact that, although it is still young and relatively small compared to other ethnic studies programs, it is constantly growing and improving.  The class sizes are usually small consisting of about twenty people or less which makes the learning experience more intimate and personal.  Instead of being stuck in a huge lecture hall with hundreds of students and a professor who doesn’t even know your name, you are able to connect with fellow classmates and with the amazing professors and faculty of the AAAS program.  Many of the professors I have had are hands down some of the most knowledgeable and inspiring people I have had the pleasure of getting to know.  I would highly recommend and encourage anyone with an interest in Asia and Asian America as well as ethnic studies as a whole to definitely major or minor in the CSULA Asian and Asian American Studies Program.

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And here is a message from our alumni Natasha Khanna-Dang (Minor in Asian Studies):

NatashaCurrently I work for the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON). The relationships I built while studying for my minor really helped open doors for me into the API Nonprofit world. During my last year at the CSULA, I worked closely with A3PCON staff and was encouraged to apply for an opening as an Executive Assistant and eventually got the position. While taking AAAS 415 with Dr. Ojeda Kimbrough I did my service learning project with Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA) located in Historic Filipino Town in LA. I worked in their after school program and got alot of experience working with youth between the ages of 8 and 14 years old. This experience working with youth allowed me to get summer job as a camp counselor in New York. I am glad that CSULA has an AAAS program because it is dedicated to teaching students about issues that affect me and my community.



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Five student papers from the Fall 2009 HIST150 Asian American History class were published in the award-winning student journal, Perspectives vol. 37 (2010). The papers are based on students' interviews of Asian Americans in Los Angeles.